1841 census reference
A reference panel will be found at one of the edges of the page, or possibly at the beginning of a section:
HO stands for Home Office, the department which archived the information. 107 is the class number of a group of documents; 552 is the piece number; 5 is the book number.
To find a particular page in the 1841 census one further item must be given: the folio number, which are stamped in the top right hand corner of the page: The following page will not have a folio number, as it is regarded as the reverse of the preceding page.
An example of a full 1841 census reference is thus HO 107/552/5/8, 8 being the folio number. No further information need be given, as this reference is unique.
1851 census reference
1851 census references are similar to those for 1841, except that there is no division into books. The panel contains the department reference and a piece number:
An example of a full 1851 census reference is thus HO 107/2289/8. No further information need be given, as this reference is unique.
1861 and onwards census reference
1861 census references are similar to those for 1851. The code RG stands for records archived by the Registrar General's Department:
The Registrar General's Department archived all the census records from 1861 onwards, so the references for later years are:
RG 10 for the 1871 census.
RG 11 for the 1881 census.
RG 12 for the 1891 census.
RG 13 for the 1901 census.
RG 14 for the 1911 census.
In the transcriptions presented on this website, the term Location is used to represent the place in which residents were to be found on census night. It is variously described, depending on which census is consulted. The image below shows a sample of the 1851 census, where the location column is headed Name of Street, Place or Road, and Name or No. of House. Other census years show something similar, but on the 1841 census, the column is headed Place.